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tv   Book Discussion on America 1933  CSPAN  August 16, 2015 10:30am-10:54am EDT

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three novels this summer. that's a look at what's on president obama's reading was the summer. >> now on your screen a book tv is back selling house author dinesh d'souza this desousa before we get into latest book please update us on your legal situation and where you are. >> will happily my legal situation is mostly resolved and by that i mean i completed an eight month overnight confinement in a confinement center for exceeding the campaign-finance limit by $20,000. i'm still doing
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community service and some counseling but the bulk of my penances completed. >> do you write about where you mention your experience in your most recent book wasn't justified, do you feel like your shows justified. guest: will i think when you look at justice you have to look at whether someone did it but you also have to look at whether the penalty is proportion to the offense. you have to look at whether other people who did the same thing got a similar penalty. so justice requires proportionality, and and it requires a certain equity. in my case i did exceed the campaign-finance laws and i said from the beginning i had done that. so some punishment was in fact appropriate. the problem is there seems to be no one in the united states who receive the kind of punishment i got for doing what i did. to give you an example of what i mean, there's an asian indian
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fellow and he gave $186,000 over the campaign-finance limit to a whole the campaign-finance limit to a whole series of democratics candidates including hillary clinton. he was also convicted of witness tampering so for doing this he got a sentence of three months probation, that's it. no present no confinement. now for giving much less, and giving nni corrupt way, gave to a a college friend, had nothing to gain with it, gate did it out of my desire to help a longtime pal. i got a much more severe sentence so my concern is has more to do with the equity of treatment for people who are similarly situated, i did do it but i think the penalty when you measure it against other people it doesn't seem to be proportion. host: in fact in freedom fest you're giving a talk entitled
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what it's like to be a political prisoner in america. guest: yes i think the title reflects the idea that part of the reason the government went after me so relentlessly, you have to remember my penalty was much less than what the government wanted. the government wanted to put me away in federal prison for between ten and 16 months. the title of the lecture reflects the idea that perhaps that's because i antagonized obama. the fact of the matter is i did antagonize obama and i know that because after i made the film 2016 he had an attack on me on his personal website brock denouncing me, denouncing the film, and denouncing the film, and expressing great indignation and ire. so whether or not obama had a direct hand in my prosecution, i don't know. but i don't rule don't rule it out of the question. host: your most recent book is this america imagine a world without her, what was your goal?
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guest: my goal was to you as an immigrant who came to america at the age of 17, who in in a sense i have realized my american dream to ask a big question, what what is the impact america has made on the world? what will the future look like if america influence begins to subside a receipt? in a sense, to answer the critics of america, not the critics of abroad because i wrote an earlier book called what so great about america which was an answer to european criticism of america, islamic america, islamic attacks on america, this book america answers a domestic critics of people in america who say the wealth of america is based. host: in your book, the real shock of asian dominance for people in the west is to see how differently the world is going to be run when america is no wrong longer running it. guest: america is arguably an
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empire, but if it is an empire it's a very different empire than the roman or the british, those are empires that were based on exploitation. their goal was to extract wealth, minerals, free labor, from colonies. they were typically settled by those countries. america has essentially governed the world as an empire, america keeps their free lanes open of the commerce of the world and circulates without being attacked by pirates it has not used its power to conquer other countries. we have been invaded other countries but we go in and we go out and unlike other colonial expeditions that often cost us money. we lost a lot of money in iraq, if you were truly a colonial expert dish and we would've made money. so america seems to me has been a benign empire if you want to
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call it that, i think it american power were to go to someone else, china, russia, they would use it far more heavy handedly, far more brutally. i feel that america has been a very positive influence in the world, i can't even imagine the 20th century if it did have america. so this book is an argument for intelligent favoritism based on the understanding of what america has done for the world. host: is it inevitable that american dominance of the world is going to end and that air is going to and or returning to china? guest: i think it is inevitable at this time of the chinese economy will be larger than the american economy, were at the verge that happening now. it's because china has a much bigger population, they have three to 43 to four times as many people as the united states so china can have a bigger economy even though the per capita income of the chinese would be lower than
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that of america. it's not a settled question as to whether leadership will pass from america to other countries, i don't thing it does. i think it could be that america is still the center of global leadership, the center of global innovation and i'm hoping that by holding on to what is best about america the united states will continue to play that role. host: you spent a lot of time traveling the country talking to people for this book, 11 of the people was a woman. >> charmaine white faces the leader of the sioux nation, she's an american indian, and native american woman who is been fighting to return to the black hills to the native americans. she is part part of the argument that america became wealthy by stealing land from the native americans, stealing the labor of the african-americans, stealing half
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of the mexico from the mexicans in the war is all part of an elaborate critique. it begins with the native americans and i wanted to talk with her to understand her argument and ultimately try to understand it. host: you spent a lot of time with people you don't necessarily agree with. host: ai interviewed others on slavery i stay on good terms that with people on the other side, i think this is something that distinguishes me from say, michael michael moore. in michael moore's film he never had intelligent folks from the other side, he want to make it seem that the only people on the other side are baboons. i think that not only in the on the radical camp you have intelligent, people who i like to bring out and give them their say. and i told people look i'm not trying to attack you, i want you
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to state your point of view as forcefully as you can and that i'm going to have my turn in trying to rebut it. but you will have your say and i think i've been able to build up that trust to get that people to come on camera. host: why spend the first 20 pages on solomon sees. guest: i think he's a very influential person, at the time it looks like he was it turns out he was the strategic mastermind of what could be called the new strategy of matter and is him and the democratic party. he happens to have been the mentor of the current pres. barack obama and also hillary clinton. here's what i mean, obama comes to america he starts making it in a sense his home in chicago, this is after his growing up years in hawaii and indonesia.
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why chicago? he he has no roots in chicago but the linsky organizing was based in chicago and he was the go to man a community organization. you have the remarkable irony that this man a linsky almost a generation after his death could be the guiding influence on two successive presidents of the united states. host: and and that your views
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that dangerous. guest: in my view it's very dangerous because he represented my view of a certain monstrous style of politics. in fact he studied very close the al capone mob, he spent some years studying gangs in chicago and he expressed admiration for the way in which gains can extract money from people by using threats and intimidation and a linsky basically developed a political strategy on doing the same thing. he realized, that he couldn't put a gun to your head but he could accuse you of racism or he could threaten to use his activists use all the bathrooms of the o'hare airport saw all the passengers can't use them. he was rented paralyze corporations and government unless they paid them off and i think that strategy has been used. if you look at the clinton foundation it essentially operates on that principle. host: recently you have been moving more into producing documentaries for movies along with your book. guest: yes most of my career i was a writer and speaker, i
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realize however that politically the conservative side has much smaller megaphones than the left. the left has huge megaphones and is able to get its message out bury widely. even if even if conservatives have really good ideas, they have only whisper channels to get that message out. how does hollywood, how does the left of that? it has a very powerful presence in hollywood, in the media, and in academia. so i sort of reengineer my career little bit to focus on trying to build little by little, institutions and education, and media, and also an entertainment to create bigger megaphones to get the message out. host: what is a panoptic. guest: it is a very bizarre design for prisons that was made by the philosopher jeremy benson, he believed if you wanted to put the prisoners on their best behavior you would create a kind of glass prison in which the prisoner could be observed at every second. now you went be observing every
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prison that add every second because every prisoner would know that what they're doing at any given time could be seen. so he thought that a very low cost, you can make sure that prisoners maintained perfect discipline, perfect order, perfect behavior and this could be monitored by a regulatory state. the reason i used the id of the panoptic, is it because in this age of surveillance, where every movement, every e-mail, every phone call could be cracked a monitor, it could be that we are created not a prison but america as a panoptic on. guest: are we. host:. guest: the pretext to doing this is to fight terrorism but what you can see this is a very net because people are being
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recorded and observed in their contactless being downloaded and their movements tracked. so this would seem to be, you could call it surveillance overkill. why is the government doing this i think ultimately because there building things on citizens. not because it's been used abusively but it can be. host: another issue you bring up in america is that progressive taxation. guest: progressive taxation, if if you think about it were very used to it. so it seems automatically fair but when you think about it it's very difficult to say why progressive taxation is more fair then say proportional taxation. proportional taxation would be something like everybody pays, let's say above a certain minimum certain minimum you're not going let poor people pay but above a
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certain a minimum you pay but say 15% in taxes, the guy who makes more pays more but only more at the same right. the idea that you should pay a higher percentage is very difficult to justify and is rooted in arguments today. for example used to be thought that rich people don't know what to do with their money where his poor people have great need of that money. therefore someone like bill gates is what could you possibly do with it? well he could buy mosquito nets for people in africa who are dying by the bushels, he could fund resource and education as i think the arguments of one sustain progressive taxation. host: this book is dedicated to gerald mullen, who is he. guest: he is the producer of legendary movies like hook and jurassic park, and schindler's schindler's list, his longtime
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partner of steven spielberg and he has not retired but i sort of brought them out of retirement to do with me a film together for next year on progressive is him in the democratic party. host: does he share your political inclination. guest: he generally does although i think what he shares most with me is not the much my pedicle ideas as an american story that matches my. on the face of it our stories are very different i grew up in india, came came to america at age of 17 but jerry mullen grew up poor in america, he went to hollywood at a young age and became a driver of trucks on the universal studios lot, he then became head of tracking and then he became associate producer. so he has seem the american dream play out his own life in hollywood. here's a a guy who came with no connections, and ends up making some of our greatest movies with steven
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spielberg. he seems his story as kind of matching mine and he's fighting for an idea in his life. host: were talking about different topics and at the end i want you to tie it all together, another topic you bring up in the book is the issue of reparation for slavery. is is it a good idea? spew. guest: reparation for slavery it would be fully justified if slaves were right if slaves were alive. if i'm walking on the street and a truck runs over my foot and as a result of that i feel pain and suffering and i can't work then i need to be compensated for that and that's reparations. i received the lost income that i otherwise could have gotten but now i can't get because the truck ran over my foot. the problem with that argument up when it applies to slavery is that many of the things that relate to times in the past is
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that we are living with today art is not slavery, but we are living with the descendents of slaves many times removed. yes jesse jackson's great great great grandfather, was robbed, he would be in title to reparation but his great great grandson jesse jackson is born in america, enjoys the same rights and freedoms as other americans, he is in a very a very different position than his great, great, grandfather. the argument for wrapper rations host: in your opening chapter america suicide turns out is the result of a plan, whose plan, what plan. guest: there is a powerful clinical movement in america, loosely loosely goes by quick
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progressivism that sees american history as a series of crimes visited upon defenseless minority groups started by american indians in the continuing with mexicans, with african americans, also women, also gaze so there's so there's a sense america has built up its wealth illicitly. similarly today, american foreign policy is based on america goes abroad not for good reason but to take stuff from other countries and moreover capitalism is a form a blunder, that's what obama means when he took keeps talking about people being deprived by their fair short. it means other people are taking up your shares for themselves. if you seriously think that, if you think america made its wealth illicitly and if you think america even today is robbing people, in order to make some people rich in other people
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poor, then it is reasonable to conclude, i want to see this american power that is used for bad historically as was now diminish. not because i hate america not because i'm a traitor, or secret islamic radical, i just think america has been kind of evil empire in the world and it's a moral project it's a moral project to diminish american wealth and power. now i believe this view is taught in our schools, it is widely held by very smart people in america and while i used to think these ideas were confined to the corridors of academic, they have now infiltrated the highest quarters of governments. so that's why so that's why this is an ideology that we should contend with starting with the president of the united states. host: we have talked about reparations, taxation, warren buffett, tie all of this together, how do they fit into america imagine a world without her. guest: america is based on a very big idea, historically most people got wealth through conquest. if if you think about the way the borders are
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established, mostly that through crime. one country invades another country and absorbs it to itself, historically kings and aristocrats have got money by invading, by by looting, by taking things from other people. the whole aristocratic order of medieval europe was based upon theft, it it was based upon taking from the peasants. now america generated a new idea which is the idea of wealth creation, it means i don't have to take yourself i can actually create wealth. if i have five marbles in my pocket i can get to ten marbles without taking your marbles. it's a very radical idea, it would've been incomprehensible to the agent greeks. this idea was from the magic formula that has made america the richest come place in the world. we we had the highest per capita income in the world in
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the 1880s and it became the indisputable superpower after world war ii and in the sole superpower when the soviet union collapsed. there's a formula that got us there, that formula that formula is greatly in danger so this is a book that dispense if you will america conceptualism but it does by saying what it is about is that make it exceptional and what it is that if we lose would cause america to go down. host: we been talking on book tv with best-selling author dinesh desousa where freedom fest in las vegas, thank you for being with us. guest: thank you for being. thank you. host: >> tv. >> as the publishing industry continues to change in this time of digitization and e-books
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there is a new service out and it's a subscription service for books. several competitors are working in this area and one of those companies is called oyster. matt schatz is with oyster books and mr. schatz how are you structured? what is oyster #. guest: we are the go to reading app for people like to read books on their mobile devices and either want to spend $9.95 a month to read an unlimited selection of over 1 million titles and also now for people who prefer to buy their e-books one by one. we are available on the iphone, we are available on the iphone, the ipad and all android devices, any device with a browser. host: so you started off as a subscription service. guest: correct, 995 per month and you get books from whom. guest: we work with many many publishers and distributors, we we he


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